Big news from panto land — the boys (and girls) are back in town

Some big news is coming all the way from the halls of Castlebar Pantomime. The pantomime is moving back into town with its next production of Beauty and The Beast which will take to the stage in An Sportlann, Castlebar, from January 3 to January 7.

Chairperson Antoinette Starken said they were delighted with the new venue. “We are so happy to be moving back into town with the panto. Many thanks to Castlebar Mitchells for their co-operation and support. Panto has been going through a bit of a financial crisis and it was felt we needed to strip back down our production costs and try and get ourselves back into the black. This is a make or break year for us. And with that in mind, we decided to find a venue back in town in the hope of increasing our overall audience numbers. Although we had a great set up out in Breaffy, An Sportlann will be able to give us a more intimate set up for the audience. We will have a lovely set up of 450 seats for each performance, and because of those confines we will now be staging seven performances (four evening shows and three matinees ). And also moving back our dates to our usual early January dates, of Wednesday 3 to Sunday 7, should suit our audiences better. We are hoping that the people of Castlebar and Mayo will get behind the panto this year and help keep the great tradition going. We need everyone’s support.”

This will be Castlebar Pantomime’s 32nd production and one of the most loved fairy tales to get the panto twist. Ms Starken told us: “While most people will be very familiar with Disney’s version, our production is a bit different. While the basis of the fairy tale is still there, as with all pantomimes there are a few characters in there that you would not have heard of before. Of course we can expect to see all the usual trademarks of the pantomime with lots of laughs and fantastic singing and dancing from our great choruses.”

“Being part of pantomime can do wonders for growing confidence and talent, especially with our juniors. It never ceases to amaze me to see a quiet, shy, boy or girl join the chorus only to blossom and grow into a confident young person, who can walk out on stage and sing and dance their hearts out. Both our adult and junior cast members make great friendships that can last a lifetime. I know I met my best friend through panto 18 years ago when I first joined.”

If you or your children would like to be part of the Beauty and The Beast ensemble why not go along to the auditions which will take place at the end of September. Adult auditions will take place on Wednesday, September 27, and Thursday, September 28, at 7.30pm in the Linenhall Arts Centre. Intermediate auditions will take place on Wednesday, September 27, at 6.30pm in the Linenhall Arts Centre. The junior auditions will take place on Sunday, October 1, at 2.30pm in An Sportlann. Juniors are reminded to bring a stamped self addressed envelope plus €3 registration.

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